Red, Haute ‘n’ Blues: The Pasadena Jazz Fest

stanley clarke

I know what you’re thinking: Music festivals are not your thing. Sticky, sweaty, uncomfortable, crowd-fighting, inelegant messes. This one is different.

The Pasadena Jazz Fest, going off this weekend, August 28-29, offers nothing less than some of the best talents performing music today. Stanley Clarke (above), Rachelle Ferrell, Spyro Gyra, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’s Kevin Eubanks, Take 6, Miss Rita Coolidge, Hubert Laws are just some of the headliners. New Orleans’ Dirty Dozen Brass Band were just added to the line up. And it’s not just Jazz either: Everlast, funk/soul legend Booker T. Jones, Gospel shouter Sylvia St. James, and a tribute to Michael Jackson are on the schedule too. Safe to say it would take you an entire Hollywood Bowl season to see this many serious names perform.

But here’s why it’s really different: Cabanas. While it might be fine just to get the limited VIP seats, with front row access, early entrance, a private bar and after party admission, why not splurge on one of only 20 cabanas, which include two couches and six chairs (invite only your best music loving friends), two VIP parking passes, backstage access (including the catering) and waiters to bring you the first two dozen drinks complimentary. You read that right. Oh, and the afterparty, of course.

Never been to the LA Arboretum? That might be worth the trip alone. The 127-acre botanical garden, owned by all of us (LA County tax payers, that is), is home to all kinds of rare and endangered plant species from around the world, as well as historical landmarks of California history. Gorgeous views of the San Gabriel mountains and any number of natural environments await. Is that worth a 25 minute drive from Hollywood? I’d say so. And If you don’t make it to Jazz fest, mark your calendar to come back for the California Philharmonic’s performances here in the summer time.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, 626. 821.3222